I've never been the bravest...
I've never been the bravest jumper, I do prefer a good XC jump to an SJ one, but my god, the track built at the Equestrian Park is truly stunning. Whilst scarily large they really are so inviting and the attention to detail is breath-taking. You couldn't mistake where in the world you are and the cultural influences are wonderful. Now yes I maybe short, but jeez these jumps are high and also blooming wide. The sense of competitiveness can certainly be felt in the warm up arenas but also the sense of community. Being able to be behind the scenes and see those special moments when riders find out that they have not only one a medal, but a gold one, is truly priceless. Something memories are made of. The monitoring of the showjumpers over the past two days has been very hectic, as soon as they are leaving down the entrance shoot, I have another entering the bit/boot check area. But once the riding is over the celebrations begin and being situated where I am means I can get some wonderful photos with the riders.
I am sure some of you may have seen a image of Irish rider, Cian O’Connor's horse Kilkenny, which had blood coming from its nose, splashing onto its chest yesterday. This is known as epistaxis. Many are saying why did he continue, how could he have not noticed , plus why wasn't he pulled up. Well, to be honest with the focus that he had and how well the horse was jumping, I don't think it would have been possible to see, unless a splash landed on his breeches. Also with Kilkenny being grey, it did look horrendous. Some of you may not know that this does occur in racehorses ore often than you think and with the majority of them being bay you probably never see it. As someone who saw him coming through the exit shoot, I can assure you the Irish team, multiple world class vets and associates where straight onto helping Kilkenny, with the situation resolving itself very quickly. But then there is the matter of why was he allowed to continue, Well the FEI rules currently state that if blood is seen in the mouth then yes, the horse can be stopped/eliminated, but presently epistaxis is not grounds for elimination. I am sure there will be many discussions in the future as to this being changed. I am pleased to say having been to the stables today, Kilkenny was looking great.
As the only person walking around with a thermal camera, I think I have been saved to most teams WhatsApp accounts as the " camera lady". With the crazy temperatures here the 2nd most popular FAQ i get asked is " my god how hot am I". But this evening having sat and chatted to Lead Farrier, Ben Benson ( incidentally also a Brit, although I must mention also a Welsh man) about foot balance and loading he asked me to look at his legs. I was able to show Ben how he places his weight and the loading his legs experience. I think he made need remedial shoeing and his medial lateral balance looked at lol!